2021 ERA Conference - Breakout Sessions

ERA Virtual Conference Breakout Sessions

Sessions are listed in chronological order. Click on speaker/presenter name to view biography.

How to Collaborate Effectively While Everyone is Working Remotely

Monday, March 1 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Moderator: Alan Ahern, President, Crowley Associates
Panelists: Jennifer Eby, Vice President, MarCTech2; Tom Vanderheyden, Senior Vice President, Americas Sales, TTI Inc.; Tom Wichert, Executive VP Sales & Marketing, TDK-Lambda

All of us are focused on working vertically in our own silos. But how do we jump out of our silos and work horizontally with our business partners to support the end customer? This moderated panel session will focus on remote collaborative management best practices to help you work effectively remotely to stay engaged with the customer.

Strategies for Success for Manufacturers’ Rep Firms of All Sizes

Monday, March 1 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Moderator: Dave Norris, President, Norris & Associates
Panelists: Jim Gleason, Managing Partner, FJM; Tim Kilfoil, President, JFKilfoil Co.; V.J. Ladd, Owner, Apogee Solutions Group

In this moderator-led panel discussion, manufacturers’ sales representative owners of companies of all different sizes, geography and product-focus will share best practices they use to evaluate new opportunities in supplier acquisition, technology focus and customer segments. This panel session will attempt to answer the questions: “When to say no and why?”, along with “What pitches to swing at and which ones do you let go by?”

The Five Best LinkedIn Strategies for Generating Qualified Leads

Monday, March 1 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Presenter: Wayne Breitbarth, CEO, Power Formula LLC

Are you actively using LinkedIn but still looking for more ways to use it to generate quality leads and close more deals? If you answered with a resounding “yes!” then let Wayne Breitbarth, a nationally recognized LinkedIn consultant and trainer and highly rated past ERA presenter, move you beyond the basics of LinkedIn and show you how to:

• Find prospects that lead to sales
• Drive traffic to your profile and website
• Build credibility in your marketplace
• Discover insider information about people or prospects
• Track your customers and potential customers
• Develop an overall strategy to grow your business

Nefarious Business Experiences: Protecting Yourself in Today’s Work Environment

Tuesday, March 2 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Moderator: Walter Tobin, CEO, ERA
Panelists: Legal Counsels, Adam Glazer, Gerry Newman and Matthew Tyrrell, Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell & Glazer, LLC

With the landscape of the workplace quickly changing, what is on the horizon and how do you best ensure that you are prepared and protected? In this all-encompassing session, ERA Legal Counsels, Adam Glazer, Gerry Newman and Matthew Tyrrell will cover real-world issues such as workers compensation, fraud, data liability, contracts, ownership of intellectual property, and privacy laws.

Selling Through Storytelling: How the Art of Storytelling Can Help You Engage Customers and Improve Sales

Tuesday, March 2 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Speaker: Melissa Reaves, Founder, Story Fruition LLC

Storytelling can change the way we sell. The best salespeople are the best storytellers. The power of storytelling can help you connect with your customers, keep their attention and increase your sales. Why is storytelling a must-have skill in today’s virtual sales world? What is your story and how are you telling it? Attend this session, instructed by Melissa Reaves, 20-year enterprise sales and marketing professional, to learn how to tap into this most powerful method of persuasion. Reaves will bring knowledge, art and humor to the session as she breaks down the elements of how to deliver captivating presentations.

Using Data in Real Time to Drive Sales

Tuesday, March 2 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Moderator: Mike Budde Jr., Budde Marketing Systems
Panelists: Ken Bellero, President, Schaffner EMC; Ian Johnson, Vice President of Business Development, Catalyst Unity Solutions; John Mitchell, CPMR, President & Founder, Repfabric

Historically, we know where to go for sales (POS) information and how to use this information to drive revenue. But how can you accelerate and shorten the lead time between when something is sold and when you know about it? This session will focus on best practices for spending less time administering your data and more time managing it to better drive your sales.

Incubators to Accelerators, Start-Ups to Scale-Ups: Sound Strategies for Calling on Developing Accounts

Tuesday, March 2 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Moderator: John Hutson, CPMR, President, MacInnis Group
Panelists: Jeff Bergstein, Owner, Jeff Bergstein Consulting; Andrew Moeller, Vice President, Sales Components – NA East, Arrow Electronics; Stacey Weismiller, Program Manager, SecondMuse; Kris Whitehouse, Vice President of Sales, Americas, Omron

It is not uncommon to ask, “Can I afford to call on start-ups?” Perhaps, the better question to ask is, “Can I afford not to?” Considering that the probability of a start-up succeeding is low, the return on investment can be high risk. However, the advent of incubators has improved a start-ups’ ability to succeed. Also, the transition from incubator to accelerator has further helped start-ups to “scale-up.” This session’s panel of knowledgeable experts will provide insights that will help improve your start-up strategy, understand how to minimize your risk, and how to increase your ROI in developing new revenue with companies at the start-up stage.

Services Selling: New Revenue Areas in Subscriptions, Software and Solutions

Tuesday, March 2 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Moderator: Craig Anderson, CPMR, President, Sumer Inc.
Panelists: Carl Bellanca, Senior Vice President/Head of Sales – Americas, ublox; Tom Griffin, Managing Director, Catalyst Unity Solutions; Sylvain Olier, Industrial Director of Global Partnerships and Alliances, Sensata Technologies

Many manufacturers are developing new technologies and new services that will require a different level of expertise from their reps and their channel partners. This area affords a tremendous opportunity for our industry beyond component selling. These new opportunities will be explored during this in-depth moderator-led panel discussion.

Successfully Managing and Motivating Your Remote Sales Team

Tuesday, March 2 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Moderator: Mike Swenson, CPMR, President, Mel Foster Company
Panelists: Mike Calabria, President & Chief Executive Officer, Abracon; Ellen Coan, CPMR, Vice President Operations, CC Electro Sales; Brian Flynn, Vice President Sales, Sager Electronics

As the way we work has changed, managing remote sales teams has also changed. If you’re managing a remote sales team, you’re likely facing new obstacles. How do you keep your team motivated, effective and happy? Join this breakout session to learn strategies for managing remotely including techniques and best practices for training, onboarding and empowering your team.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Powerful Time Management Strategies to Boost Your Productivity

Tuesday, March 2 / 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST

Presenter: Steve Turner, CEO & Founder, Turner Time Management

What tools and best practices are available to use your time well and get the results that you need to increase sales productivity and efficiency. Steve Turner, CEO & Founder of Turner Time Management will share real-world, easy to apply tips and tricks on time management and how you can change your habits to improve your efficiency.

Guidelines Used by Reps and Distributors to Assess a Manufacturers ROI

Wednesday, March 3 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Moderator: Walter Tobin, CEO, ERA
Panelists: Mark Conley, President & CEO, O’Donnell Associates North; Scott Lindberg, Director of Sales & Marketing, Quell Corporation; Craig Sanderson, Vice President Supplier Marketing & Product Management, Sager Electronics

This session will focus on the differences and similarities between a rep and a distributor in how they perceive a manufacturer. A review of the different analysis tools used by reps and distributors to evaluate the ROI and profitability of a manufacturer will be conducted.

Onshoring: Myth or Reality?

Wednesday, March 3 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Moderator: Steve Cholas, VP Business Development, Big Zeta
Panelists: Harinderpal Hanspal, Founder and Principal at Thing Company LLC; Don Hnatyshin, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Molex; Dennis Young, Executive Vice President of Sales, Sanmina

The ongoing debate surrounding onshoring is a very spirited one. Join this discussion which will address the facts vs. realities of the amount of onshoring activity taking place, effects of tariffs on the onshoring initiatives and benefiting locations in North America of onshoring activities, as well as the criteria considered regarding decisions to relocate offshore manufacturing to onshore.

Virtual Selling: How to Survive and Thrive in the Virtual Sales World

Wednesday, March 3 / 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Presenter: Charlene DeCesare, Certified Sales Leader, Lead Consultant, The Rain Group

The onset of COVID-19 has accelerated the world of virtual selling. How can sales survive and even thrive in these new and dramatically different times? Change is here! And virtual selling is here to stay! Attend this session, taught by Charlene DeCesare, trusted sales advisor and Certified Sales Leader (CSL), to learn tricks of the trade in how to embrace the virtual-selling model and become an effective virtual seller for continued success.